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Spitfire Mark VB

Kit: Pro Modeler No.85-5941

Scale: 1:72

Contributor: Robert Parkin

Aircraft:   No aircraft of the second world war epitomizes a fighting spirit better than the Spitfire.
An underdog from the start, this scrappy fighter became a symbol of tenacity and
Courage for a beleaguered nation standing alone against a mighty fighting force.

A descendent from Reginald Mitchell's great seaplane racers of the 1920's, the Spitfire's
proud lineage would help to assure its place in aviation history. In 1931, the Air Ministry in
London issued Specification F7/30 for a fighter to replace the RAF's aging Bristol Bulldog.
Five biplanes and three monoplanes entered the contest, but the performance of Supermarine's entry, Type 224, was abysmal, reaching a top speed of only 238 MPH and taking eight minutes to reach 15,000 feet. The RAF choose a radial engine biplane that had easily out-performed Supermarine's entry in every aspect. Despite the disappointment, Supermarine continued fighter development with Type 300 that was based on the failed Type 224. The 300 had a closed cockpit, retractable landing gear, and a cleaner shape. These refinements were unable to improve performance.


In 1934 Rolls Royce delivered the twenty-seven liter, 1,000 HP, PV XII, powerplant to Supermarine, and combat fighter performance would be changed forever. This would prove to be another great combination of airframe and powerplant technology that would help shape the course of history.Known as the "Cadillac of the Skies", the P-51 Mustang was the equivalent of Britain's Spitfire. The P-51, designed and built by North American in 1940, was instrumental in turning the tide of World War II in the skies over Europe. Powered by a Packard Merlin V-1650-7 1,720 horse power inline 12 cylinder engine, the P-51D had a top speed of 437 mph @ 25,000'. It was capable of flying 2,300 miles nonstop (enough to fly from England to Berlin and back).

Instructions- The instructions are comprehensive. Parts are both named and numbered. There is a brief history and the paints called for are generic names, with no brand specified, so there is some liberty here.

Specifications:

Supermarine Spitfire Mk I

Empty/Max Weight & Dimensions:
Weight: 4,810 / 5,784 lbs (2,182 / 2,624 kg)
Span: 36' 10" (11.23 m)
Length: 29' 11" (9.12 m)
Engine(s): Rolls-Royce Merlin III 12-cyl V liquid-cooled, 1,030 hp
Armament: Eight .303 Browning machine guns w/300 r.p.g.
Max Speed @ Altitude: 365 mph (587 km/h) @ 19,000 ft (5,795 m)
Ceiling: 34,000 ft (10,370 m)
Climb Rate: 2,530 ft (770 m)/min
Range: 395 mi (635 km)



Supermarine Spitfire Mk IX

Empty/Max Weight & Dimensions:
Weight: 5,800 / 7,500 lbs (2,636 / 3,409 kg)
Span: 36' 10" (11.23 m)
Length: 31' 4" (9.55 m)
Engine(s): Rolls-Royce Merlin 70 12-cyl V liquid cooled, 1,710 hp
Armament: Two 20 mm Hispano cannon, four .50 Browning machine guns
Max Speed @ Altitude: 408 mph (656 km/h) @ 25,000 ft (7,620 m)
Ceiling: 44,000 ft (13,420 m)
Climb Rate: 4,100 ft (1,250 m)/min
Range: 434 mi (698 km)

Robert Parkin claims ownership to all model photos built and photographed by him.  Copyright (c) 2001. All Rights Reserved.

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If you have any comments please contact me at bparkin@juno.com

Last Updated: 11/12/01